The Best and Worst of Wanderers vs Perth Glory (Rd 18)

A-League Round 18 vs Perth Glory – 28/01/2018 NIB Stadium
1-3 Loss

Welcome to this week’s Best and Worst where as predicted last week, the Wanderers play Perth Glory into form and give them their first win in a few months.

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Worst – Do We Even Have A Best XI Anymore?
I don’t know, you don’t know, Gombau doesn’t know. Again Lustica is played out of position. Now we have inverted the midfield trio again and we are using 2 defensive midfielders. Bonevacia is listed as left wing? Llorente is dropped, Hamill is captain (he is part of the leadership group announced by the club a few months ago), Baccus is nowhere to be seen and Cejudo is apparently still injured. Carrusca gets into the starting XI now and none of us watching know what to expect every week with who starts.
I think its rather obvious that Gombau is still tinkering and trying to figure out who his best XI is, with what he has. The A-League transfer window closes on 2nd February I believe. Unless by some miracle we sign someone, we’re stuck with this team for the rest of the season.

Bring in the youth! The Y-League Grand Final is next week. Majok scored a hattrick on the weekend. Time for him and the likes of Grozos to get game time and start looking towards the future.
We all were annoyed that Popa used to clean house at the end of every season, but its warranted this time. Gombau needs to get the players he wants and its rather clear that a vast majority of our current squad just aren’t cut out for his style, or don’t want to be there.

Worst – Captain Hamill
We don’t have a captain anymore. He left for Malaysia and is enjoying himself (good on him). We are left with the other 2 players that were named in the leadership squad: Bridge and Hamill. Bridge is favoured but when he doesn’t start, Hamill is captain. This isn’t u8’s where the captain is shared around and you get to call out heads or tails when its your turn. You’re supposed to show leadership and inspire your team to push through the pain and the adversity and rise up against the oppression of the FFA and VAR monster.
Instead, our captain makes a run all the way to the opposition byline as if he is a Right Back and leaves the defence completely exposed to a counter attack which leads to a penalty, a red card and the game is over.
Who knows if the outcome would have been the same if Hamill held his ground and remained in his position.

Worst – VAR’K OFF
I was under the impression that the “last man = red card” rule was gone. That the triple whammy of “sent off, penalty, goal” was removed from the game. Thwaite was alongside Baby Baccus when he touched Chianese on the shoulder and he felt contact and dropped. So Baby Baccus wasn’t the last man anyway. Play continued for a couple of minutes and then it was halted. VAR came into the equation and Perth fans are chanting “V-A-R, V-A-R”. Peak A-League.

We get super slow motion replays of the incident and I knew they would give a penalty. If they are looking at something for that long, you know the outcome. What I didn’t expect though is that Baby Baccus would be shown a straight red. Despite him not being the last man. I blew up about it at my parent’s place (where I was watching the game) and on Twitter. I was then corrected that a red card is given only when there is no genuine attempt to play the ball. Fine.

Explain this then. 10 minutes later Riera gets into the box and is completely taken out by Reddy who IS the last man and clearly makes no genuine attempt at the ball. But…only a yellow card. What a joke. If he was sent off, then game on. Riera scores his penalty and we’re square 1-1 but could only hold out for a bit. We were overwhelmed by a Perth Glory side with the referee on their side and an extra man.

The only other game I watched on the weekend was the Big Blue. Where we saw a clear last man in Wilkshire take a player out and they had to think about it to give him a yellow card, barely. Adrian elbows Williams in the head and doesn’t get a clear 2nd yellow card, then he sets up goals for SFC to win. We (WSW fans and ATB) have been saying SFC have favourable ref calls for the past few years. We were called conspiracy theorists. Now it seems the entire A-League fanbase and even coaches are noticing it and voicing it. Its becoming so obvious and its a joke. When you see these decisions go SFC’s way and your team is screwed every week by similar or lesser fouls, what are you supposed to think?

But let’s rewind a bit. How come there was no review on whether Chianese was even onside for his run into the box?

Impossible to be that far ahead within a second of the ball being played. Surely there is a wide angle of that pass being played despite us not seeing it on the broadcast? Why was that NOT reviewed by VAR before even looking at the foul by Baccus? Somehow this is swept under the carpet and people are trying to educate everyone else about the genuine attempt at the ball rule etc.
It doesn’t mean anything if the player was offside to begin with.

But let me ask you this. If Chianese is so clearly offside, what the hell is the linesman doing? Do A-League linesman not bother to raise their flags anymore and just let the VAR take care of it nowadays? Do your job. This is the primary reason why you’re employed.

6 minutes in and the game was over. A ridiculous VAR/Ref combination, we’re down to 10 men with 85 minutes to play and I’m questioning my life choices.

Worst – I Went Home
The worst part about all this? When half time blew, I turned to my wife and said “let’s go home”. I live over 45 minutes away from my parents. I couldn’t be bothered to be pissed off for another 45 minutes watching WSW try to play football under these conditions. It doesn’t help that the team simply isn’t that good this season and on top of all these VAR decisions going against us more often than not, I was just over it. This is the 2nd time ever that I have turned off a WSW game. The first was last season, I believe, when it was the 2nd last game of the season and we were playing terribly. It was a nothing game too I think. Also, the Milan Derby was on at prime time so I switched between the two.

But last night, I really didn’t want to watch anymore. My brother texted me saying “why am I watching this?” I was over it by the 10th minute. As we were leaving my wife asked “why are you even a Wanderers fan?”
My reply was “watch my videos, and you’ll understand why”

This is what the FFA have created. I’ve been watching the A-League since 2006. The vast majority of those years as a neutral. I was still interested though in watching games, the big rivalry games and supporting the local product. But these past couple of seasons, this one especially has been increasingly difficult to care about other games, and now, even Wanderers games. Why should I invest my time and my Sunday night (or Friday night, or Saturday) in watching a product where the governing body doesn’t give a shit about? They are too bothered trying to save their own skins and the local game is suffering, big time. When hardcore fans are turning away – A-LEAGUE FANS – then there is a problem.

The VAR isn’t an FFA problem. They can’t remove it because its in trial and FIFA want to implement it at the World Cup.

For me, the VAR in theory works. If a goal is scored that is offside the VAR can check that and make the correct decision. It happened in this very game. I’m fine with that.

The problem in Australia though, is that the VAR is run by the very same incompetent refs we’ve had for years. No amount of technology or replays is going to change the fact that they are all useless and get things wrong every week. We’ve been talking about their incompetence for years. The VAR just accentuates it even further.

Best – Riera Tells Off the Refs
As I said, I didn’t even watch the 2nd half but I read my Twitter timeline when I got home. It sounds like Riera was fouled right in front of the assistant referee, wasn’t give the foul, went off at him and was given a yellow for dissent. This sums up the A-League.
The problem with this is, players like Riera who’ve played in Spain his entire career will end up doing his best Eric Cartman impression and just leaving. Screw this, your refs are useless.

Best – Only 10 Games Left
The bright side of this entire dire season is that there is only 10 games left to endure before we all gather hope for next season.

Best – Okon’s Job is Safe
Central Coast Mariners haven’t won a game since 3rd December. 2 months. They’ll win next week against us and Okon will be safe, because he’s a good bloke, just like Kenny Lowe. Gombau though, he is under pressure to perform because Australian Football Media.

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